PRINCE Andrew could be whacked with a lawsuit in the US after claims Virginia Roberts was “lent out for sex” by Jeffrey Esptein as a teenager.
Roberts claims she was forced to have sex with the Prince by Epstein, a convicted paedophile, when she was just 17 and could file a multi-million-pound civil action in New York as early as this week.
Her lawyer David Boies told the Mail on Sunday the explosive lawsuit “would be based on her being lent out to Prince Andrew for sex by Jeffrey Epstein and [her] being under 18”.
He added the action would include claims of “improper sexual violations, physical and emotional distress” and that Roberts would seek a claim for damages.
“To use a common phrase here in the United States, ‘Time’s up,’” Boies said.
The Duke of York has always staunchly denied all charges made by Roberts and claims to have “no recollection” of ever meeting the woman, despite a photo showing the two side-by-side at a London apartment.
Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace claims Roberts’ allegations are “false and without foundation”.
In a previous statement, the Palace said “it is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts.
“Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
‘THIS COULD BE DEVASTATING FOR ANDREW’
The lawsuit against the Duke in America is set to cause massive embarrassment for the Royals as lawyers seek probe him about his sex life under oath – and he could be forced to hand over texts, emails, and private letters.
A defamation suit filed by Roberts against Epstein’s then-partner Ghislaine Maxwell in 2015 ended in a settlement, though incredibly embarrassing depositions about Maxwell’s sex life were made public last year.
A source said: “This could be devastating for Andrew. If he chooses to fight it and is deposed [forced to give evidence], then those depositions could end up being made public.
“If he ignores it, he could be found guilty in absentia which would be a public relations disaster.”
Under the New York Child Victims Act, Roberts has until next Saturday to file the civil action, which will include claims she and the Duke had sex three times in 2001.
Though Roberts was above the UK legal age of consent at the time, in New York a child is considered to be anyone under 18.
The American claims she had sex with Prince Andrew in a toilet when she was 17, after a night where he had been plying her with vodka in a posh London club.
She claims she first met the royal dad-of-two on a trip to London in 2001 when she was 17 and Epstein and Maxwell were also there.
The Prince strongly denied having sex with her in London and New York, and a year later at an orgy on Epstein’s private island in the Virgin Islands.
Roberts says her account is “99 per cent true” but her own lawyers have described it as “fictionalised”.
She was 18 when she had her third alleged sexual encounter with the royal on Little St James Island, where she says he engaged in an orgy with nine girls.
WILL THE TRIAL GO AHEAD?
Whether the case goes to court depends on the mum-of-three, who now lives in Australia, pushing ahead with legal action.
If the Prince ignores it, the trial could go on without him and the court could enter a default judgement, Boies added.
He said damages that come out of the trial “could be enforced any place in the world”.
Boies sent the Duke a second formal letter offering to sign an agreement – known as a tolling agreement – that extended the statute of limitations so that both sides could negotiate.
According to Boies, his requests have been ignored.
Espstein hanged himself in his prison cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking offences while Maxwell was arrested last July and is set to go on trial in November for allegedly recruiting underage girls for sex for the disgraced New York financier.
She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Both Roberts and a spokesperson for Prince Andrew and his lawyers have declined to comment.